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Thank You!

    Thank you to all of you who came to the Toy Train Show at MAH. Your expressions of joy and surprise were reward enough for the Over the Hill Gang who put on the two week show with some great volunteers.  Some children were so enthralled that they came every day.  One parent is thinking of starting a Toy Train Club for children. Stay tuned for the winners of the Harry Potter and Thomas Tank train sets.




Fun Events for the Rest of the Break!


Teens & Tweens 

Body World 2, The Tech Museum   ...through 1/26 

This is an exciting and very graphic show about the inner workings of(Site Photos) SkinlessSoccerPlayer.jpg the human body, without skin! Some bodies feature the muscles and others show veins and the path of blood.  If your children like science, want a career in medicine, physical therapy, sports medicine, nursing, chiropractry, or anything to do with the body, this is a must see!  In fact it is AWESOME.


Young Children 

Clifford the Big Red Dog , Children's Discovery Museum through 1/6

Meet a 9-foot-high Clifford and slide down his tail.


All Ages 

Nature's Alphabet at The Steinbeck ...through 1/25

"Discovering Nature's Alphabet", a series of photographs of naturally-occurring letters, offers children and their families a playful way of exploring and studying nature.


Reptiles and Amphibians, Quail Hollow Ranch 1/6

Join herpetologist, Paul Haskins for a saunter along park trails in search of herps - that is reptiles and amphibians.  Come peruse the pond and muse over the meadow as we learn about the favorite hangouts and resting places of these fascinating animals.


Elephant Seal Walks ...Ano Nuevo through 3/30

(Site Photos) ElephantSeal.jpgMake your reservations now and plan on a 3 mile walk through sand.  Winter is the prime season to view thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls.


Upcoming Events to Put on Your Calendar 

Details in Our Events Calendar 

Independent Schools Open Houses

Fungus Fair

KidPower Workshops

Bellies, Birth & Babies Winter Expo 


 Inspiring Good Manners

    I meet a lot of parents at the park with their children.  A year ago one couple told me they were never going to force their child to say "please" and "thank you". I saw them again last week and they laughingly told me they had done a 180o

We have found some great tips on raising thankful children:


  • (BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) taking_notes.jpgEncourage children to write thank you notes. It can be tedious and a form of etiquette that is not practiced often but it does give children time to reflect on their gifts and acknowledge those people that gave them. Click for fun ideas.
  • Be thankful yourself--out loud; you are their role model. Thank others on a regular basis (i.e. your spouse, your children, clerks, waitresses, etc.).
  • At dinner, ask what each family member enjoyed most at school or work that day. Or ask each member to name someone who helped to make their day. Tell each other what and whom you are thankful for today.
  • Talk about the needs of others and make a plan together to give others something for which to be thankful. Some suggestions include working in a soup kitchen, mentoring a child, helping at a shelter--whatever works for you and your family.
  • Make thankfulness a year-round activity. If thankful attitudes are practiced all year long, children will learn that those attitudes should be a way of life.

Getting Rich Slowly

An Excerpt from a Book Review by J.D. Roth

Six golden rules to ruling your gold


   "Yeager believes that most Americans are caught in a vicious cycle: They earn money to spend money to buy what they want. They never have enough. The key, he says, is to “slay your enoughasauraus“, that nasty monster inside each of us that makes us want just a little more.

    His first step is to practice a “fiscal fast”. Live for a week without spending money. Take notes on what it’s like to go seven days without spending: what were you tempted to buy and how did it make you feel? From there, you can move on to his “six golden rules for ruling your gold”:

  1. Live within your means at thirty, and stay there. I’ve often wished that I had maintained the standard of living I had at 25. Instead, I got caught up in lifestyle inflationl. If I’d had the willpower early, I could have a lot saved by now!
  2. Never underestimate the power of not spending. In The Wealthy Barber, David Chilton notes that a penny saved is worth more than a penny earned. An after-tax penny is actually worth about a penny-and-a-half of income. It’s worth even more when you consider the returns you miss by not investing it.
  3. Discretion is the better part of shopping. You know all those money hacks I share to trick yourself while shopping? Here’s where they come into play. Establish a 30-day waiting period before making big purchases. Always ask, “Is this a want or a need?” I like one of Yeager’s suggestions: Carry a “what the hell was I thinking?” list in your wallet or purse on which you’ve written all the stupid things you’ve purchased over the years. (Mine would be too big for my wallet!)
  4. Do for yourself what you could have others do for you. Grow your own food.Do your own home maintenance. By taking on a few chores you usually pay others to do, you can save money. Change your own oil.
  5. Anyone can negotiate anything. Daiko recently wrote that we should ask for a better financial future, requesting better deals when we deal with big companies. Bartering can save you money, too.
  6. Pinch the dollars, and the pennies will pinch themselves. This is the message that Elizabeth Warren preaches: limit your spending on the big things (like your mortgage), and you won’t have to worry so much about saving money on groceries. It’s best to be frugal in all aspects of your life, but pay particular attention to the big stuff."

For the full article, go here.  To read more interesting approaches on finances from this same author visit

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 Where the Locals Shop!
Click on
Shopper's Logo
for weekly specials! 
 Soquel & Branciforte
Santa Cruz

(Site Photos) TyroleanforNewsletter.jpg
 Tyrolean Inn Restaurant
Fantastic Buffet Thursday 1/3
"This is a cozy place
for dining
by the fire
when it rains!" 
9600 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond

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Teach your baby to
"talk" with signs.
Classes begin Jan. 11
 Angela Breiter

for Children
(Site Photos) BooksTeddyBearAppleBorder.jpg
We all love stories.
Here are some fun
story hours for
the little ones.
Capitola Book Cafe
Story Time
with Billie Harris
Mondays 11am
Stories for Children
A Cuppa' for Parents 
Local Public Libraries
for Story Hours

When it rains... 
 (Site Photos) RollerSkatingWithDad.jpg
or for some
Dad-Daughter Time... 
Santa Cruz
Roller Palladium is
there for you!
423-0844 for Hours 
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 She's off to a
good start with a
wetsuit from

Kids All Ages
Love the Long Slides
Santa Cruz 
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 Bring Wax Paper
for a Faster Ride! 
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Santa Cruz, CA